Crackdown on 'cosmetic surgeons'

THE Health Professionals Council of South Africa has vowed to crack down on doctors who perform cosmetic surgery without the necessary qualification.

THE Health Professionals Council of South Africa has vowed to crack down on doctors who perform cosmetic surgery without the necessary qualification.

The council (HPCSA) expressed concern yesterday about this practice happening without their knowledge.

"Only specialists in plastic surgery may perform cosmetic surgery on those requiring it," said HPCSA registrar Boyce Mkhize.

"General practitioners are not allowed to perform cosmetic surgery.

"Registered practitioners should always act within the Medicine Control Council recommendations and in accordance with the ethical rules of the HPCSA."

The concern by the HPCSA comes after current affairs TV show Carte Blanche revealed that several women were left scarred after having cosmetic surgery by unqualified surgeons.

One of the surgeons said on the show that he had a week's training instead of the required four years.

"Doctors are not allowed to do work outside their scope of practice, and those found to have overstepped this will be investigated and slapped with a penalty ranging from a caution, fine or suspension to being struck off the roll," he said.

Mkhize said the council had banned jejunoileal bypass procedure as a way of losing weight. The procedure involves an operation in which part of the intestine is bypassed to reduce the absorption of food.

"No doctor will be allowed to perform the procedure anymore. The banning of the jejunoileal bypass came into effect last week," he said.

Following the Carte Blanche exposé on Sunday, four women have called the council to report that they had also suffered under the hands of unqualified surgeons.

The HPCSA also announced that only dentists, dental therapists and oral hygienists may perform teeth whitening - provided they have the required training.

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